Wodify is a leading all-in-one fitness management software, trusted by 5,000 of the world’s top businesses. Wodify and the NCFIT Collective have partnered to help gym owners save time and effort by delivering curated, customizable fitness programming right to their Wodify account. Over the next 4 weeks, NCFIT will be launching their #BuildBetter series and we will be launching 4 blogs that explain each part of this series.
Gym owners wear a lot of hats. It’s common for the owner-operator of a microgym to also serve as the head salesperson, head marketer, head coach, front desk staff, and part of the cleaning crew.
For a lot of us, that’s how we got started, but for most of us, our intention isn’t to indefinitely juggle all of those hats, but how do you step back?
Regardless of how many responsibilities may still fall under your purview, the hat that will always stay on is: Leader.
So what does a leader boil down to? Accountability.
You need to hold yourself accountable for every misstep the business takes. If members are clique-y, that falls on you. If there’s drama amongst the coaching staff, that falls on you. If members are leaving to join a local competitor - you get the point.
Leaders don’t blame their staff, members, or the coach that left and started a competing gym down the block. Of course there will be circumstances completely outside of your control - the past two years have made that very clear - but the first step to being an effective leader is simple: You have to take ownership of all the missteps and not put the blame on others.
That doesn’t mean that everyone on your team will always perform up to your expectations, but it does mean that if someone on your team is underperforming, it’s your responsibility as the leader to deliver feedback and clear next steps to set them on a trajectory for improvement.
At NCFIT, they use the PADR (Performance and Development Review) template to deliver formal feedback to everyone on their team twice a year. This allows their leadership team to clearly communicate how a team member is performing against expectations and what they need to do to improve their performance before the next PADR.
Leaders take responsibility and constantly work to develop their team. The PADR is how they do it at NCFIT.
Sometimes, even after clear feedback, it becomes clear that a member of your team is just not going to work out.
Maybe performance is still consistently falling short when measured against expectations. Maybe they’re just not aligned with the direction of the business. Maybe they aren’t a good fit culturally. In all of these scenarios, the writing is usually on the wall for what the necessary next steps are.
The problem is that taking the necessary actions involves a very tough conversation and a lot of time gym owners and managers put it off in hopes that things will get better on their own.
Needless to say, that’s almost never the case. Firing team members as soon as the relationship between staff and company is no longer mutually beneficial is important. One tool that can help make these tough conversations a little easier is an Employee Warning Letter. By documenting clear instances when staff did not meet expectations, you give yourself as the manager an objective paper trail to refer to if it comes to the point where you decide to part ways with that team member.
“Hire slow, fire fast” is advice that still holds true, especially in the microgym space, where teams are usually very small and culture plays such an important role in the quality of product on the floor.
On the other side of the hiring and firing process, finding the right people to bring onto your team can be a challenge as well. This is where clear and detailed job descriptions can be a valuable tool in the hiring process.
Here is a job description we have used in the past to hire front desk staff. While this might not seem like the most crucial hire for your organization, front desk staff are oftentimes the first impression leads get when walking through the door. A good front desk hire can be a huge asset for your business if you can find the right person and if you have the proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place to set them up for success.
Circling back to the end goal of someday not having to juggle all the different roles your business requires, getting there will require delegation.
It seems simple enough, but delegating can be a very difficult thing for some gym owners. No one will care about your business the way that you do, so, naturally, there will be tasks that you don’t want to let go.
But it isn’t realistic for you to always do all of the programming, coaching, sales, and marketing either.
So what’s the best way to figure out what to delegate and what to keep under your list of responsibilities?
There are two ways to approach this. One way is to list out the things that you’re good at and the things that you know are weaknesses. You can then use that list to delegate the things that are weaknesses, ideally to someone that can do them better.
The other way is to list out the roles that are the least valuable in terms of skill. How much per hour would it cost for someone to clean the gym? How much per hour would it cost for someone to take over the gym’s marketing? Now ask yourself how much your time is worth.
Both of those roles would require a vastly different investment. It’s best to prioritize delegating the tasks that require the cheapest investment and aim for the end goal of having everything that you value less than what your time is worth completely delegated.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you delegate tasks so that you have more time to train for the CrossFit Games. It means that you now have more time to work ON your business instead of IN your business, which ultimately is what it will take for you to #BuildBetter.
Thank you for joining us for this four-week series. We hope you took away some valuable insights and that the tools we made available for you end up helping you build a better business in 2022.
Remember that this process is an ongoing journey and that we covered a lot over these past four weeks. Work on one thing at a time and go from there. The more you do, the more momentum you will build, the more your business will inevitably grow.